Monster Energy Cup Series News

Monster Energy Cup Series News (12857)

Rusty Wallace Racing's Steve Wallace (No. 77 5-Hour Energy Toyota Camry) posted the 39th-fastest speed in today's qualifying for what will be his NASCAR Sprint Cup Series debut, the 53rd annual Daytona 500.  His best lap of 49.295 seconds (182.574 MPH) was his fastest lap of the week.


With his qualifying result, Wallace will roll off from the outside of row nine in the second of Thursday's twin 150-mile qualifying races at Daytona International Speedway.  By virtue of 2010 owners' points, the 23-year old is assured of a starting spot in Sunday's Daytona 500, regardless of his finish in Thursday's qualifier.


Said Wallace, "That's just all it had.  From the driver's perspective, you're wide open in qualifying; there's not much you can do to influence the lap one way or another.  We picked up two-tenths over practice and ran our fastest lap yet down here; that's all we can ask for.


"I'm proud of this 5-Hour Energy team, though.  We knew this was going to be an uphill battle and they haven't given up.  To put together a couple of cars in a month or two-when we've never done it before-and come to the biggest race in the world is a really tall order.


"Still, we've managed to pick up almost a second and half from where we unloaded at the test last month and have a car that should be able to compete in the draft.  That's what it's all about here.  If you can hold on to the draft, you've got as good of a shot as anyone.


"For one reason or another, the Toyota Camrys just aren't as fast as some other cars down here in qualifying trim.  I think the best Camry was 20th or so.  We're starting the 150s right there with Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin, Joey Logano and the MWR cars, so that's a little bit reassuring to us.  The Toyotas showed in the Shootout that they were competitive in race trim though, so I'm ready to get drafting later in the week and see what we have."




For years, the Wood Brothers and Donnie Wingo have been friends and rejoiced in each other’s racing accomplishments.

On Sunday afternoon at Daytona International Speedway they got to celebrate together after Trevor Bayne, driving the Woods’ No. 21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Fusion, was third fastest in qualifying for Sunday’s Daytona 500.
Wingo, a long-time friend of the Woods, is now the team’s crew chief and is the person responsible for overseeing the preparation of the Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Fusion.

In his post-qualifying comments, Bayne pointed out that his quick lap was the result of a lot of work by all the people who played a role in preparing his Ford Fusion.

“I can’t thank this Wood Brothers team enough and everybody at Ford Racing and Roush Yates for helping us prepare a car like this to bring here,” he said. “The winds were kind of calm, and I think this will show everybody that we’ve got an awesome race car and they can work with us in these twins coming into Thursday.” “Maybe they’ll see that and they’ll know they can help us out and we can get a good starting spot in the 500.”
For team co-owner Eddie Wood the strong qualifying effort is a sign that he and his team are making forward progress with their racing program. “We’ve qualified well at Daytona the past couple of years, and it’s gratifying to come here with a whole new program, a new crew chief and a new car and qualify third,” he said. “And it’s good to be locked into the show for the 500.”

The starting line-up won’t be determined until after Thursday’s 150-mile Gatorade Duels, but Bayne is assured of a starting spot for the Daytona 500.
In qualifying at Daytona, the driver’s main responsibility is to not make a mistake on the track, and the rookie Bayne passed that test with flying colors. The hard part is done by the crew chief and the crew, who put a winter’s worth of work into preparing the best car they can for the Great American Race. “
“Donnie and the guys did a great job,” Wood said, adding that the veteran crew chief has quickly made himself at home with the Wood family and with the Motorcraft/Quick Lane crew. “It’s been really satisfying to watch him blend in with this race team,” Wood said. “We’ve been friends for years, and that just makes it all the more special to have him here.”

Bayne also is busy making himself at home, with the Wood Brothers team and with his fellow Sprint Cup drivers. He’s hoping that he can give his car a ride on Sunday that would make David Pearson proud, especially since the car’s paint scheme is in honor of Pearson’s upcoming induction into the NASCAR Hall of Fame.

Pearson drove the Woods’ cars to 43 wins and 51 poles in the 1970s. “I think we’ve got a really stout race car, and [the crew] has done an awesome job all week with it,” Bayne said.

The 150-mile Gatorade Duel qualifying races are scheduled for Thursday at 2 p.m. with TV coverage on SPEED.The green flag for the Daytona 500 is scheduled to fly just after 1 p.m. on Sunday Feb. 20, with TV coverage on FOX.

Wood Brothers Racing PR



Row 1:
1. No. 88 Dale Earnhardt Jr. AMP Energy/National Guard Chevrolet
2. No. 27 Paul Menard Menards/Peak Chevrolet

Row 2:
3. No. 39 Ryan Newman U.S.Army Chevrolet
4. No. 5 Mark Martin Chevrolet

Row 3:
5. No. 14 Tony Stewart Office Depot/Mobil 1 Chevrolet
6. No. 22 Kurt Busch Shell/Pennzoil Dodge

Row 4:
7. No. 42 Juan Pablo Montoya Target Chevrolet
8. No. 9 Marcos Ambrose Stanley Ford

Row 5:
9. No. 29 Kevin Harvick Budweiser Chevrolet
10. No. 48 Jimmie Johnson Lowe's/KOBALT Tools Chevrolet

Row 6:
11. No. 09 * Bill Elliott Phoenix Construction Chevrolet
12. No. 43 A J Allmendinger Best Buy Ford

Row 7:
13. No. 87 * Joe Nemechek(i) AM FM Energy Toyota
14. No. 17 Matt Kenseth Crown Royal Black Ford

Row 8:
15. No. 36 * Dave Blaney Tommy Baldwin Racing Chevrolet
16. No. 78 Regan Smith Furniture Row Racing Chevrolet

Row 9:
17. No. 4 Kasey Kahne Red Bull Toyota
18. No. 47 Bobby Labonte Kroger/USO Toyota

Row 10:
19. No. 83 Brian Vickers Red Bull Toyota
20. No. 97 * Kevin Conway(i) Extenze Toyota

Row 11:
21. No. 34 David Gilliland Taco Bell Ford
22. No. 66 * Michael McDowell HP Racing LLC Toyota

Row 12:
23. No. 46 * J J Yeley Red Line Oil Chevrolet
24. No. 71 Andy Lally Adobe Road Winery Chevrolet




Row 1:
1. 24 Jeff Gordon Drive to End Hunger Chevrolet
2. 21 Trevor Bayne(i) Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford

Row 2:
3. 33 Clint Bowyer Cheerios/Hamburger Helper Chevrolet
4. 31 Jeff Burton Caterpillar Chevrolet

Row 3:
5. 16 Greg Biffle 3M Ford
6. 6 David Ragan UPS Ford

Row 4:
7. 99 Carl Edwards Aflac Ford
8. 38 * Travis Kvapil(i) Long John Silver's Ford

Row 5:
9. 00 David Reutimann Aaron's Dream Machine Toyota
10. 2 Brad Keselowski Miller Lite Dodge

Row 6:
11. 15 * Michael Waltrip NAPA Auto Parts Toyota
12. 1 Jamie McMurray Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Boats Chevrolet

Row 7:
13. 18 Kyle Busch M&M's Toyota
14. 56 Martin Truex Jr. NAPA Toyota

Row 8:
15. 20 Joey Logano Home Depot Toyota
16. 60 * Todd Bodine(i) Tire Kingdom/Valvoline Toyota

Row 9:
17. 13 * Casey Mears GEICO Toyota
18. 77 Steve Wallace(i) 5-hour Energy Toyota

Row 10:
19. 7 Robby Gordon SPEED Energy Dodge
20. 32 * Terry Labonte U.S. Chrome Ford

Row 11:
21. 37 Robert Richardson Jr.(i) North Texas Pipe Ford
22. 11 Denny Hamlin FedEx Express Toyota

Row 12:
23. 64 * Derrike Cope Sta-Bil Toyota
24. 92 * Brian Keselowski K-Automotive Dodge



1. (88)  Dale Earnhardt Jr., Chevrolet, 186.089 mph.
2. (24)  Jeff Gordon, Chevrolet, 185.966 mph.
3. (21)  Trevor Bayne(i), Ford, 185.445 mph.
4. (27)  Paul Menard, Chevrolet, 185.422 mph.
5. (33)  Clint Bowyer, Chevrolet, 185.223 mph.
6. (31)  Jeff Burton, Chevrolet, 185.071 mph.
7. (39)  Ryan Newman, Chevrolet, 185.002 mph.
8. (5)  Mark Martin, Chevrolet, 184.991 mph.
9. (16)  Greg Biffle, Ford, 184.911 mph.
10. (14)  Tony Stewart, Chevrolet, 184.911 mph.
11. (22)  Kurt Busch, Dodge, 184.896 mph.
12. (42)  Juan Pablo Montoya, Chevrolet, 184.763 mph.
13. (9)  Marcos Ambrose, Ford, 184.748 mph.
14. (29)  Kevin Harvick, Chevrolet, 184.740 mph.
15. (48)  Jimmie Johnson, Chevrolet, 184.687 mph.
16. (6)  David Ragan, Ford, 184.612 mph.
17. (09)  Bill Elliott, Chevrolet, 184.532 mph.
18. (99)  Carl Edwards, Ford, 184.475 mph.
19. (43)  A J Allmendinger, Ford, 184.290 mph.
20. (38)  Travis Kvapil(i), Ford, 184.271 mph.
21. (87)  Joe Nemechek(i), Toyota, 184.222 mph.
22. (17)  Matt Kenseth, Ford, 184.102 mph.
23. (00)  David Reutimann, Toyota, 184.019 mph.
24. (2)  Brad Keselowski, Dodge, 184.008 mph.
25. (15)  Michael Waltrip, Toyota, 183.966 mph.
26. (36)  Dave Blaney, Chevrolet, 183.793 mph.
27. (1)  Jamie McMurray, Chevrolet, 183.685 mph.
28. (78)  Regan Smith, Chevrolet, 183.681 mph.
29. (4)  Kasey Kahne, Toyota, 183.602 mph.
30. (18)  Kyle Busch, Toyota, 183.595 mph.
31. (47)  Bobby Labonte, Toyota, 183.576 mph.
32. (83)  Brian Vickers, Toyota, 183.557 mph.
33. (56)  Martin Truex Jr., Toyota, 183.456 mph.
34. (20)  Joey Logano, Toyota, 183.206 mph.
35. (60)  Todd Bodine(i), Toyota, 183.057 mph.
36. (97)  Kevin Conway(i), Toyota, 182.949 mph.
37. (13)  Casey Mears, Toyota, 182.867 mph.
38. (34)  David Gilliland, Ford, 182.697 mph.
39. (77)  Steve Wallace(i), Toyota, 182.574 mph.
40. (66)  Michael McDowell, Toyota, 182.434 mph.
41. (7)  Robby Gordon, Dodge, 182.120 mph.
42. (32)  Terry Labonte, Ford, 181.492 mph.
43. (37)  Robert Richardson Jr.(i), Ford, 181.466 mph.
44. (11)  Denny Hamlin, Toyota, 181.316 mph.
45. (46)  J J Yeley, Chevrolet, 180.977 mph.
46. (71)  Andy Lally, Chevrolet, 180.828 mph.
47. (64)  Derrike Cope, Toyota, 177.894 mph.
48. (92)  Brian Keselowski, Dodge, 177.581 mph.




Row 1: 2 27 Paul Menard Menards/Peak Chevrolet 3 39 Ryan Newman U.S.Army Chevrolet Row 2: 4 5 Mark Martin Chevrolet 5 14 Tony Stewart Office Depot/Mobil 1 Chevrolet Row 3: 6 22 Kurt Busch Shell/Pennzoil Dodge 7 42 Juan Pablo Montoya Target Chevrolet Row 4: 8 9 Marcos Ambrose Stanley Ford 9 29 Kevin Harvick Budweiser Chevrolet Row 5: 10 48 Jimmie Johnson Lowe's/KOBALT Tools Chevrolet 11 09 * Bill Elliott Phoenix Construction Chevrolet Row 6: 12 43 A J Allmendinger Best Buy Ford 13 87 * Joe Nemechek(i) AM FM Energy Toyota Row 7: 14 17 Matt Kenseth Crown Royal Black Ford 15 36 * Dave Blaney Tommy Baldwin Racing Chevrolet Row 8: 16 78 Regan Smith Furniture Row Racing Chevrolet 17 4 Kasey Kahne Red Bull Toyota Row 9: 18 47 Bobby Labonte Kroger/USO Toyota 19 83 Brian Vickers Red Bull Toyota Row 10: 20 97 * Kevin Conway(i) Extenze Toyota 21 34 David Gilliland Taco Bell Ford Row 11: 22 66 * Michael McDowell HP Racing LLC Toyota 23 46 * J J Yeley Red Line Oil Chevrolet Row 12: 24 71 Andy Lally Adobe Road Winery Chevrolet

Front Row Motorsports kicked off the 2011 season Sunday by securing all three of its cars into the biggest race of the year -- next week's Daytona 500.  After making huge upgrades in equipment and adding key personnel in the off-season, the team came to Daytona International Speedeway much improved over last year. 

The enhancements were evident Sunday when Travis Kvapil, who was not locked into the race by points, posted the 20th fastest qualifying time in the Long John Silver's Ford to secure a spot in "The Great American Race."  His teammates, David Gilliland in the Taco Bell Ford and Robert Richardson Jr. in the North Texas Pipe Ford, qualified 38th and 43rd respectively.  Thursday's Gatorade Duels will determine the starting positions for all three cars, but all three are secured in Sunday's starting grid.

The team has two days off before hitting the track again on Wednesday for two more practice sessions to prepare for Thursday's Duels.

No. 34 Taco Bell Ford Qualifying Position: 38th

No. 37 North Texas Pipe Qualifying Position: 43rd
No. 38 Long John Silver's Ford Qualifying Position:


"It was good.  It drove great.  They've done a great job repaving this place.  It's really smooth and drivability is not an issue anymore. We didn't really put a whole lot into qualifying our car.  Our main focus at Front Row Motorsports has been to focus on Travis Kvapil's car and getting him locked into the race today.  And we did that. I'm proud of all the work the guys in the shop have put into his car, but we didn't really do anything special for qualifying.  I feel like our car has good speed, much better speed than we had last year, and I feel like it's gonna race really well." David Gilliland




Dale Earnhardt, Jr., No. 88 AMP Energy/National Guard Chevrolet, won the pole for the 53rd running of the Daytona 500 with a lap of 48.364 seconds/186.089 m.p.h.  It is his first pole in 23 races at Daytona International Speedway and his first-ever for a restrictor plate race.

He has started on the front row of the Daytona 500 twice previously, 2003 and 2010; and this is the 10th pole of his NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) career.

His Hendrick Motorsports (HMS) teammate Jeff Gordon, No. 24 Drive to End Hunger Chevrolet will start on the outside of the front row. It is his third front row start in the Great American Race. The four-time NSCS champion started on the pole in 1999 and on the outside pole in 2006.

The qualifying efforts by Earnhardt, Jr. and Gordon lock-in their starting positions for next Sunday’s Daytona 500.  They will each start of the pole of one of Thursday's Gatorade Duel at Daytona Qualifying races.

Although their qualifying efforts didn't set their starting positions for the 500 and they will have to race to get the best possible position in their respective Duel race, six additional Team Chevy drivers scored top-10 qualifying efforts today.  Paul Menard, No. 27 Menards/Peak Chevrolet, put up the fourth (4th) fastest time.  His Richard Childress Racing teammate Clint Bowyer, No. 33 Cheerios/Hamburger Helper Chevrolet (RCR), was fifth (5th) in the final order followed by RCR's Jeff Burton, No. 31 Caterpillar Chevrolet, in sixth (6th).

Stewart-Haas Racing's (SHR) Ryan Newman, No. 39 US Army Chevrolet, qualified seventh (7th) with Mark Martin, No. 5 Chevrolet out of the HMS stable was eighth (8th) fastest.

SHR's Tony Stewart, No. 14 Office Depot/Mobil 1 Chevrolet, was 10th in the final qualifying order.

Other Team Chevy drivers posted qualifying times as follows: Juan Pablo Montoya, No. 42 Target Chevrolet from Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing (EGR) - 12th; RCR's Kevin Harvick, No. 29 Budweiser Chevrolet - 14th; Jimmie Johnson, No. 48 Lowe's/KOBALT HMS Chevrolet - 15th; Bill Elliott, No. 09 Phoenix Construction Chevrolet - 17th; Dave Blaney, No. 36 Tommy Baldwin Racing Chevrolet - 26th; Jamie McMurray, No. 1 Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Boats EGR Chevrolet - 27th; Regan Smith, No. 78 Furniture Row Racing Chevrolet -- 28th.; J.J. Yeley, No. 46 Redline Oil Chevrolet - 45th and No. 71 Adobe Road Winery Chevrolet - 46th.

Next on the Daytona SpeedWeeks schedule is the Gatorade Duel at Daytona Qualifying Races on Thursday, February 17 beginning at 2:00 p.m. ET.


Team Chevy Racing


Greg Biffle led the way for Roush Fenway in Sunday’s Pole Day at Daytona International Speedway, turning a lap of 48.67 (184.911 mph) to qualify ninth in the session.

The session will determine the team’s starting points in Thursday’s Gatorade Duels.

“It was pretty good,” said Biffle. “I thought it would be a little faster to be honest, but it didn’t seem like it accelerated down the back and I could feel the wind. Still it was pretty fast and the fastest overall for the Roush Fenway group, so a pretty solid top 10 run here today. We’re right among the Childress and Hendrick cars, so I think that’s pretty respectable.”

David Ragan was 16th (184.612 mph), Carl Edwards was 18th (184.475 mph) and Matt Kenseth rounded out the group in 22nd (184.102).

The Sprint Cup Series returns to action on Wednesday morning for the first to two Gatorade Duel practice sessions.




After finishing in the runner-up position seven times, Kurt Busch finally captured a win at historic Daytona International Speedway in a thrilling finish in the 33rd annual Budweiser Shootout.
The victory marks Busch’s first restrictor-plate win, the first time Dodge has visited Gatorade Victory Lane in the star-studded race and the first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on the speedway’s new asphalt.
Busch was pushed to the lead by defending Daytona 500 champion Jamie McMurray, who finished second after Denny Hamlin was relegated to 12th place for passing below the yellow line coming to the checkered flag.  Ryan Newman, the 2008 Daytona 500 champion, led the last 12 laps and rounded out the top three.
“To experience victory lane here, no matter what the race is, is very special,” said Busch.  “I just have to thank Jamie McMurray; he stuck with us.  He had an unbelievable amount of power to push us and kept us in the mix.  When you have a friend like that, that’s what it takes.”
Jeff Burton, who led the race at the end of the first segment and finished eighth overall, led a race-high 32 laps.  Dale Earnhardt Jr., who drew the pole position, was caught up in a multi-car incident which brought out the race’s second caution of the night.  He finished 19th.
The 75-lap race included eight former Daytona 500 champions who have a combined 11 victories in “The Great American Race.”  Nine drivers exchanged the lead a record-breaking 28 times.
The Budweiser Shootout is a star-studded, non-points race that kicks off the season for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. The race is broken up into two segments of 25 and 50 laps, respectively, with a 10-minute break in between.  The field is comprised of former NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champions, the 2010 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup field, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Rookie of the Year drivers from 2001-2010 and previous winners at the “World Center of Racing.”  The starting positions for the 24-car field were determined by a blind-draw at the annual Budweiser Shootout Draw Party.
Actress Amber Heard served as the Grand Marshal and country music singer/songwriter, and former Broadway star, Laura Bell Bundy performed a pre- and post-race concert and the National Anthem.


TRG Motorsports has tapped veteran NASCAR crew chief Jay Guy to sit atop its No. 71 pit box for the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season.

Guy, who begins his new assignment this weekend in Daytona, will call the race for Andy Lally, who was announced last week as the driver for TRG Motorsports’ 500 entry.

“Jay comes to us highly recommended. We’re very happy to have him on board,” said Kevin Buckler, team owner. “He’s got exactly the kind of experience we’ve been looking for to lead the team and guide Andy through his rookie season. He’ll fit in well at TRG. He’s got the same kind of passion and desire to win that our team has from top to bottom.”

Guy, a native of Lancaster, Pa., comes to TRG Motorsports from Penske Racing, where he spent the 2010 season calling the shots for Brad Keselowski’s Sprint Cup team. Guy has nearly 30 years experience, having started his career with Dave Marcis, ironically in the No. 71 Chevrolet, in the 80’s. Guy’s resume also includes three years of building Furniture Row Racing’s No. 78 Sprint Cup Series team, and stints with MBV Motorsports, FitzBradshaw Racing, ST Motorsports, Wood Brothers Racing and JTG Racing.

“It’s great to be back in Daytona getting ready for the 500. I am really enthusiastic about working with Kevin Buckler and the No. 71 team,” said Guy. “Andy is a racer through and through, and we’ve got a really good group here. I am really going to enjoy helping Andy make his mark in NASCAR.

“It’s funny how things come full circle,” said Guy. “I have a lot of great memories of being involved with Dave Marcis at the start of my career. To have this opportunity with TRG Motorsports, back with the No. 71, it certainly brings things full circle.”






When the Wood Brothers No. 21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Fusion hits the track for Daytona 500 practice on Saturday, it’ll represent both ends of the Speedweeks experience spectrum.
The Woods have been racing at Daytona in February for 61 years, since team founder Glen Wood was driving in races on the old beach-road course that preceded Daytona International Speedway.

Their current driver, rookie Trevor Bayne, has never driven a Sprint Cup car at Daytona except in two off-season test sessions.

But Bayne, who will turn 20 next Saturday, is no ordinary rookie, and therefore expectations are high for his first try at the Great American Race.

As he participated in Thursday’s Media Day rounds with reporters, Bayne came across as poised and confident, with no sign of any pre-race jitters.

“When you set your expectations and you finally get there, it doesn’t come as a surprise,” he said. “Since I was five years old I wanted to be here at this point, so now that we’re here, this is where I wanted to be.

“We belong here and I think we’re going to try to make that statement that we’re not just here to run a race, we’re here to stay….

“I think we’ve got the opportunity to do it. I’ve got all the support around me with Ford Racing and Wood Brothers and Roush on the Nationwide side, and getting double seat time this weekend. I’m really looking forward to that because I like to stay busy all the time.”

Over the years, some of NASCAR’s best drivers have come to Daytona for the first time and driven like they’d been running there for years. The late Dale Earnhardt led 10 laps and finished eighth in his first Daytona 500, back in 1979, and Jeff Gordon won his Gatorade Duel and finished fifth in the 500 his first time out, in 1993. Bayne said coming out the box in a big way is the approach he needs to take.

“I think as a race car driver that’s the mentality you have to have,” he said. “Sometimes it gets me in trouble, because I’m so worried about performance and being the fastest in practice and qualifying on the pole that you set unreal expectations and that sets you up for disappointment.

“But I think as long as we set those real expectations, kind of like we did at Texas, and you meet those expectations, you’re just going to get better and better.”

Like Earnhardt and Gordon in their Daytona debuts, Bayne has strong support behind him. In addition to the support and experience from the Woods, he’s got a veteran crew chief in Donnie Wingo and technical support from Roush Fenway Racing.

“The Wood Brothers, they’ve poured their heart and soul into this,” Bayne said. “You can see a lot of excitement going on, and they said they haven’t felt this excited going to Daytona in a long time.

“So to hear that gives me a little boost to see the confidence they already have in me after one race.”
Team co-owner Eddie Wood said he has confidence in both his car and his driver.

“We’ve tested here two times, and we’ve worked on our car after each one, so we’re looking forward to getting on the track and seeing what we’ve got,” he said.

Wood also pointed out that even though the Motorcraft/Quick Lane Fusion will sport a rookie’s yellow stripe on the rear bumper, Bayne is much more than a novice racer.

“He’s been racing since he was five years old, so by the time he takes the green flag for the 500 he’ll have 16 years of experience,” Wood said. “And he probably got 500 miles of drafting practice during the Goodyear tire test in December.”

Qualifying for the Daytona 500 is set for Sunday at 1:05 p.m. The 150-mile Gatorade Duel qualifying races are scheduled for Thursday at 2 p.m., and the green flag for the Daytona 500 is scheduled to fly just after 1 p.m. on Sunday Feb. 20, with TV coverage on FOX.


Wood Brothers Racing